Winning Presentations are the goal of every presenter, so the next time you prepare a presentation strategy designed to close a deal or sell a project or an idea, think about the following four points before starting your work. If you do, you’ll be ensuring a Winning Presentation.
Generating interest among your audience is the first and perhaps the most difficult part of the presentation process. With the overwhelming number of meetings, e-mails and information people are flooded with these days, the level of interest before a meeting is usually quite low. So the first 2 or 3 minutes of your presentation are critical if you’re going to pique the interest of your audience. To do this, you can start, for example, with an analogy or a metaphor, something that will help to create focus on the message you want to convey and that’s relevant to the subject you’re discussing. Generating interest is crucial to a presentation, because when you can do that, you automatically win the attention you need to make your points.
If you’ve managed to pique the interest and secure the attention of your audience, the next biggest challenge becomes retaining that attention for the longest possible time. For this to happen you need a well-structured and reasoned presentation with a beginning, a middle and an end. And here you need to remember to use visual elements and impactful images that illustrate your key message(s).
But it will be of no use to have the attention of your audience 100% of the time if you can’t generate . . . Understanding. There must be audience attention and understanding throughout the presentation. If you can generate a common understanding of – and, if possible, consensus for – a particular idea, project, product, etc., you will be that much closer to completion, the main goal of most presentations.
Assuming that you’ve successfully achieved the first three goals, at this point your audience is totally focused on you, totally understands the message(s) you’re trying to get across, and is pretty much willing to accept everything you say. And so your audience will now follow through and approve your project, buy your product, vote yes on the new rule…. And you will know that you have achieved something significant – you’ve just delivered a Winning Presentation.